Many people are shaped and influenced by circumstances and experiences we have faced in our lives. Traumatic experiences, in particular, affect people deeply and indelibly. Negative circumstances can be overwhelming and become a determiner of a person’s identity.
Traumatic experiences affect people so deeply and dramatically that the affects shape and influence people in ways they cannot consciously comprehend or control. A person who a traumatic experience or experiences may spend the rest of their lives dealing with the fallout.
“Positive” circumstances, also, can define people in ways that also become a determining factor in our lives. People born into wealth, raised in the church and other generally positive circumstances can influence a person to dismiss or ignore God people of a perception that he doesn’t need God.
Following are stories of people who have encountered God in the midst of their circumstances, good and bad. God, who knows us intimately even better than we know our own selves, is able to heal and to resolve the damage that occurs deep in the subconscious darkness of the inner self. He can also reach people who seemingly have need to nothing in this world, because ultimately nothing in this world can truly satisfy the longing of our hears.
Michaela Lanning grew up and lived through more difficult circumstances than most people have experienced in a lifetime. Her father was a criminal, a drug addict, “a sketchy guy” and 17 years older than her mother. He was “not a good guy”. He was psychopathic and narcissistic with an addictive personality. They moved often because of money problems. Her mother developed terrible anxiety, and Michaela had to care for her. She was rejected and bullied in school. She fell into depression and self-harm. After a brief time of spiritual renewal, she developed dissociative, depersonalization and anxiety disorder and anorexia. Her parents’ relationship went from bad to worse, and her father left. She identified as bisexual, then lesbian, then transgender. She began seeing a gender therapist. She was seeking validation any place she could think to find it. She began doing drugs and drinking. A connection through a meet up app led to sexual assault. She explored other religions. She lived hard, chasing after satisfaction from whatever angle she could possibly go. In her emptiness, she googled churches near her and went. That’s when everything changed for her.